The Chronicle

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter 

THE Meteorological Service Department (MSD) has predicted heavy rains and strong winds that may uproot trees and damage buildings in the southern part of the country up to Thursday.

In a statement yesterday, MSD said the rains could result in flash floods.

The department warned members of the public against crossing flooded rivers. 

“Uprooting of trees, flooding of rivers and streams as well as damage to infrastructure is likely with this type of rainfall intensity,” read the statement.

“From Monday 9 through to Thursday 12 December 2019, widespread rains are expected across the country, with heavy falls in some places. 

“Of note, on Monday, parts of Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Masvingo provinces as well as the Midlands province are forecast to receive in excess of 50mm in 24 hours which may result in flash floods,” read the statement.

“These heavy rains may also be accompanied by hail, strong winds and lightning. Similar conditions should spread northeast to affect Mashonaland provinces as well as Harare Metropolitan by Tuesday 10 December.”

The MSD said the rains are expected to steadily ease by Friday in most parts of the country with heavier pours in Mashonaland East into northern parts of Manicaland.  

MSD urged drivers to exercise caution on the roads while advising the public against unnecessary movements.

“Caution on the roads, flash flooding and gushes of water may lead to treacherous road conditions. Do not attempt to cross flooded rivers. Visibility may also be compromised during heavy downpours. During storms avoid metal objects and tall isolated trees. Where possible, stay indoors,” reads the statement.

The rain prediction could bring relief to most farmers who were losing their livestock due to the devastating effects of drought.

Matabeleland region lost more than 20 000 cattle to drought this year. Bulawayo residents are expecting significant inflows into the city’s supply dams that are all in Matabeleland South province.

Two out of the city’s six supply dams have already been decommissioned because they are almost dry. The city’s supply dams are 36 percent full and this has prompted the local authority to introduce a 96-hour weekly water [email protected]